An Agriculture Policy to Create Wealth
The Conservative Party of Quebec recognizes the importance of agriculture in Quebec. It proposes a number of changes to make Quebec’s agriculture even more dynamic and productive. This dynamism will stimulate the interest of our youth to start their own farming business or to take over their parents’ businesses.
The following principles will guide our actions.
The Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) won the right to exclusively represent all Quebec farmers in a vote held in 1974. We have never since questioned the UPA’s union mandate nor its monopoly. The Conservative Party of Quebec believes that the time has come to allow Quebec farmers who so desire to freely choose the association of producers that they want to join depending on their interests.
Agricultural enterprises have to be profitable. If we agree to provide some help, it is only as an economic lever. We will limit the dependence of agricultural and food enterprises on government aid and ensure that the market price reflects the true cost of the products.
Performance and competitiveness
To meet these principles aimed at making agriculture more efficient and more competitive, a Government of the Conservative Party of Quebec will ensure that our farmers have access:
to proper training at the cutting edge of technology, not only based on the production methods but based also on modern marketing techniques. Producers will thus garner most of their income from the market and not from grants;
to the results of dynamic research and development to strengthen our agriculture’s competitiveness and efficiency;
to a smaller bureaucracy in order to maximize the time spent managing the farm. We will take the necessary measures to ensure that MAPAQ and M.D.D.E.P. no longer work in isolation in agriculture but coordinate their activities on the ground;
to an agricultural policy that will meet the specific needs of the regions and their climate. For example, canola does not produce good results in southern Quebec, while it does in Abitibi, Lac-Saint-Jean and the Lower St. Lawrence region where the temperature is suitable for this crop.
Promote the marketing of local products such as wines, ciders and liqueurs
Quebec is full of local products which deserve to be in the spotlight. It often happens that the mechanisms in place do not promote the wider dissemination of such products. That is precisely the case for Quebec wines and ciders.
For this reason the Conservative Party of Quebec will be guided by what is happening in Ontario, where the government, the LCBO and producers of alcoholic beverages have joined forces to successfully commercialize artisanal spirits produced in the province. This success has contributed to the development of this industry in Ontario.